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Thread: questions from a new member

  1. #1

    questions from a new member

    Hello,
    I am a new member on this forum. I live in Michigan in the USA, and am an avid outdoorsman. I have been enjoying lurking around here for a bit and learning something about deer stalking in the UK. I am quite curious about some of the shooting practices and regulations that exist in your country, and I have found this website to be most helpful. I would like to ask a few questions to clarify some things that are still unclear to me.

    1) I am especially interested in the way that game animals are managed in your country. Here in the US the state and national governments have a large role in the management of deer and other game populations are managed. It seems from my reading that local land owners have a lot of autonomy to manage their herds as they see fit. Is this impression correct?

    2) I am surprised to learn of the (relatively) many species of deer that you all enjoy in the UK. I am interested in knowing more about the local attitudes there on the introduced species of deer. Obviously, many of these species are naturalized by this time. Do local wildlife managers have a basically positive attitude toward these naturalized species? Is anyone bothered by their impact on the ecosystem or is it too late to be bothered with such issues?

    3) I am intrigued by the roe deer. It seems very similar in many ways to our native whitetails. I had the chance to observe some of these deer in the wild in my visits to Germany and they reminded me very much of smallish whitetails in look and behavior. Can anyone speak to the similarities and differences between whitetail and roe hunting (stalking)? How do they compare as far as the wariness of the animal and the challenge of the hunt?

    Sorry for the long post. I have many more questions but do not want to tax your bandwidth more than I should . If anyone has time to answer any of my questions then I would be delighted. Thanks for the opportunity to learn more about deer stalking in the UK.
    -Dan

  2. #2

    hello

    welcome aboard mate. i am sure you will find the answers you need, but not from me this morning! i don't have time

    swampy

  3. #3
    Hi MIDan,
    Welcome to the site buddy.
    I was on Vancouver Island in September and from what I saw there the island strain of whitetail are an almost exact match for our roe deer in size, reactions to people and preferred habitat. Even the rifles used for hunting them are similar with .243 &308win predominating, though being close to the USA plenty of 30-06 gets used too. They even taste the same.
    From what I've seen in other states our reds and your whitetail are similar sized beasts, though different species entirely.
    There is some hostility to introduced species here, especially with regards to the various sub-species of Sika which can hybridise readily with reds. Muntjac get an easier time unless they get out of control in sensitive or protected areas like ancient woodland. Most hunters like them cos they breed fast, don't take up much room and can be difficult little guys to find and stop sometimes, so they can be fun if they are controlled properly.
    If you read other threads on the forum, look at deer welfare for a start, you'll pick up on most of what you need.

    All the best and tell us what you hunt at home some time.
    Geoshot

  4. #4
    Hello MIDan and welcome.

    You ask about the management of deer in this country. As a rule it is the landowners responsibility to keep deer numbers to such a level that they do not conflict with the environment, sensitive areas, other animal species and also people. If a landowner does not keep his deer numbers in check, then our government agency (DEFRA) has the power to send stalkers in to cull deer down to more managable numbers. This happened a couple of years ago on Glenfeshie estate in Scotland but was not welcomed by the gamekeeping and stalking fraternity at all, and to top it off, the estate will be charged to have this done.

    The forestry commission for which i have done work for have full time wildlife rangers who cull deer within their beat constantly throughout the year and could require deer numbers in excess of 200+ per ranger but mainly through the autumn and winter months.

    In the UK we are allowed to shoot as many deer as we want throughout the year so long as it`s in season and we have permission to do so unlike yourselves who SEEM to have to get a ticket or card, i have never been to the USA so you will have to forgive me if i`m wrong. If this is true, is it just on government owned land that this applies?.

    As you will probably know, we have Red, Roe, Fallow,Sika,Muntjac and Chinese water deer in this country with only the first TWO being strictly British and the others being brought in as park and estate specimens and subsequently escaping.

    I hope this gives you a little bit more of an insight into our shooting and am sure lots more people will fill you in with other parts of your questions.

    wadashot

  5. #5
    Kent
    Guest
    Never stalked whitetails but have observed them when fishing in the states. The whitetails i saw were more similar to a smaller fallow. in level of spookyness they seem very akin to our roe and i think Roe are our best looking deer ( actually i think the same of your whitetails) Gorget patches are common on Roe as white tails and i think this adds to the looks factor.
    I live in the North West of England and our Roe are in the main desended from re-introductions from Belgian stock that were released onto and Island on Lake windermere and subsequently swam ashore. English Roe were mainly hunted out i believe. With pockets surviving in the South and Scotland. Obviously these Scotish Roe have also helped repopulate my area.
    For more information on the Roe Deer read The Roe Deer conservation of a native species by Richard Prior. Published by Swan Hill Press ISBN 1 85310 532 5 (this tells you everything you could ever want to know about Roe deer

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kent
    Never stalked whitetails but have observed them when fishing in the states. The whitetails i saw were more similar to a smaller fallow. in level of spookyness they seem very akin to our roe and i think Roe are our best looking deer ( actually i think the same of your whitetails) Gorget patches are common on Roe as white tails and i think this adds to the looks factor.
    I live in the North West of England and our Roe are in the main desended from re-introductions from Belgian stock that were released onto and Island on Lake windermere and subsequently swam ashore. English Roe were mainly hunted out i believe. With pockets surviving in the South and Scotland. Obviously these Scotish Roe have also helped repopulate my area.
    For more information on the Roe Deer read The Roe Deer conservation of a native species by Richard Prior. Published by Swan Hill Press ISBN 1 85310 532 5 (this tells you everything you could ever want to know about Roe deer
    According to Whitehead, the roe in England were probably never quite hunted out with a few survivors in the enclosed area of Petworth Park in Sussex augmented by a couple of Scottish introductions and a possible introduction from an unknown source by Lord Egremont in the early 1800s.

    These deer apparently became the source for most of the roe in Southern England today although there are differences in antler shape from area to area that possibly suggest otherwise.

    There was an introduction of German roe to East Anglia which are the origin of the deer of that area and those that spread up into Lincolnshire. These are of noticeably poorer general quality than the typical UK roe.

    Indigenous Scottish roe have certainly pushed a long way south into Northern England and the Lakes and, although the spread of roe elsewhere in the UK has almost certainly been "helped", apart from the Belgian stock on Windemere, there is nothing to suggest that any more of the antecedants of today's deer are from outside these islands.

    Although fallow are an introduced species and most current populations originate from park escapees, some populations are much longer standing and may go back to William the Conqueror or even to Roman times. They have certainly been with us as a wild animal for over 1,000 years.

  7. #7
    Thanks for all the good replies!

    I did mean to offend by insinuating that roe are undersized! I was merely reporting my impressions from pictures, a little personal experience of German roe deer, and a bit of reading. My impressions of roe deer are colored by my own experience with whitetails in the northern part of the US. Here our deer tend to grow a bit larger than whitetails generally do in the south. Apparently this is an adaptation to the harsher winters. Here a good sized buck can reach upward of 100 kg (although this is not common). Of course as any good hunter knows size is not everything. The challenge of the stalk, appreciation of the animal, and the reward of a clean kill are what are truly important in my opinion.

    Wow, so it is legal to shoot as many deer as you would like in open season?! I suppose this is balanced by the preferences of the landowner and good management in general. It sounds like a good deal for you UK deer stalkers! Such a system would not likely work here in the US (at least in Michigan) since we have so many hunters. There would be no deer left! We are currently limited to two bucks a year, with opportunities for does in some counties.

    About my own hunting interests, I hunt whitetails, ruffed grouse, pheasants, and rabbits on a regular basis. I also do a little wild turkey, squirrel, and coyote hunting. I plan on going on my first black bear hunt in the next year or two. I also like to fish, hike, camp, shoot archery, and sail. Too many pastimes and not enough time to pass!

  8. #8
    Hello,

    Quite the reverse over here, as generally we struggle to control the number of deer, as the population of deer seems to rise year on year despite our best efforts! In certain areas in the south of England the population has exploded, and car strikes are a real problem, as is damage to regeneration. The deer numbers are partly attributed to our increasingly mild climate resulting in fewer winter fatalities and better grazing, for more of the year.

    You are quite correct in saying that Roe are a great deal smaller than your Whitetails-a really good Roe buck weighs around 55lb, although they can look a lot bigger in winter coat. I have shot yearlings under 25lbs. Our red stags get pretty large, 400lb+, but not quite Elk size!

    The Roe is a enigmatic and intriguing little deer amd one that has had a great deal written on it, as another has said already you cannot beat Richar Priors books.

    Good shooting.

    James

  9. #9
    Kent
    Guest
    Hey don't get the wrong impresion you look after your game and fish a heck of a great deal better than we do. From my experiance deer can be just as numerous over your side of the pond!

    Sure we have issues with overpopulation in some areas but this is purely because it is not everyones right to go and have a go, this also applies to vermin species. It is up to the landowner or holder of the shooting rights to deside who shoots what if and when. It comes from the old fudal system that your forfarthers fought us about.

  10. #10
    Kent
    Guest
    oh and kicked our butt! Mind you we had to travel over in silly wooden boats first.

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